CMC-Kannapolis ready for patients at new ER on Lane Street
Published 12:00 am Friday, January 13, 2012
By Karissa Minn
KANNAPOLIS — Residents of southern Rowan and northern Cabarrus counties can soon spend less time driving and waiting in an emergency.
CMC-Kannapolis, a free-standing emergency department, will open for patients at 7 a.m. Monday.
It is located at 2711 Lane St., just off Interstate 85 at Exit 63. The health-care pavilion is part of Carolinas HealthCare System and operates as an extension of Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast in Concord.
“Make no mistake; this is an emergency department,” said Andrew Matthews, medical director for CMC-NorthEast. “This is not urgent care. This is a 24-7 operation that’s here to take care of emergency conditions, stabilize patients and hopefully put those in definitive care if they need it — surgical or admission at another facility.”
An open house for the public will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. Visitors can tour the facility, meet the physicians and staff and enjoy free food, prizes and activities for children.
Because of the anticipated crowds, parking will be provided at Fieldcrest-Cannon Stadium with free shuttle service to and from CMC-Kannapolis.
Medical officials led members of the media on a tour Thursday of the $17 million, 26,385-square-foot facility, following the path a patient might take.
People will sign in at the lobby of CMC-Kannapolis with a palm scanner called PASS, which takes a digital image of the hand’s unique vein pattern.
If a patient has visited a hospital or doctor in the system before, staff at the facility can immediately identify him or her and access medical records.
“Saturday, at our community open house, we’re going to let people pre-scan so it will be that much faster when they come in,” said Nurse Manager Karen Corker. “Their information will already be there.”
Physicians who are board certified in emergency medicine will provide around-the-clock care in 10 treatment rooms. Two observation beds are available for patients who need additional examination and treatment.
The facility also features rapid triage, with bedside registration for convenience and privacy; diagnostic imaging tools including a CT scanner, ultrasound and digital X-ray; and complete laboratory services used only for patients of CMC-Kannapolis.
Corker said about 100 people are working at CMC-Kannapolis, including 26 nurses and close to 75 full-time employees.
“We are proud to open this innovative facility for the people of Cabarrus County and south Rowan County,” said Phyllis Wingate, president of CMC-NorthEast, in a press release. “Having a 24-hour emergency department conveniently located will be of tremendous benefit to the families, businesses and schools in the area, and we intend to deliver the same level of care our patients have come to expect from CMC-NorthEast.”
Matthews said Thursday that the free-standing emergency department should have lower wait times than hospitals because it doesn’t admit many patients. After they are seen and treated, most patients will be either released or taken to a full hospital.
Critically ill or injured patients can be transported using a mobile intensive care unit, which is a specially equipped ambulance that can handle neonatal through senior care.
According to current estimates, Matthews said, 12,800 patients will come through CMC-Kannapolis in a year, but other freestanding departments have seen numbers twice as high.
About 7,000 of those are expected to come from Cabarrus County, with the other 5,000 to 6,000 traveling from Rowan County.
“Hopefully, when they see delays at both facilities — Rowan Regional or NorthEast — they will seek something that’s more efficient for them,” he said.
For more information about CMC-Kannapolis, visit www.cmc-kannapolis.org.